Hello all! I decided to use my Mechanical Engineering education, Solid Works training, and millwright industry contacts to work in building my first Master Sword. I learned a lot from this project, and plan on iterating my processes until I can make a really great steel sword, perhaps even every one from each Zelda game. Somewhere in my mind is the idea to sell them too, but there are a few obstacles, like copyright law and my own confidence, that make me wary. Please look at the album, and ask me anything!
I've had some questions about cost. Let's see if I can break this down:
- The raw steel cut to shape was $15 per sword, and I cut 6. Three are sitting at my brother's garage. Aluminum costs about the same by volume. The steel grade is 44w, or A36, which is a common structural carbon steel. Stainless is 3-5x more expensive and a bitch to grind and machine.
- The liquid plastic cost $80 for those two gallons, one each of Part A and B. $10 for the dye, which helps hide painting flaws and will last forever. $10 for mold release.
- A couple of trips to the dollar store for odd supplies, like cups, spoons, measuring stuff, knives. Pipe was cheap too.
- Gold leaf is about $10 for a booklet of sheets.
- I now have a collection of about a dozen spraycans and small bottles of grey, silver, chrome, gold, blue, and clearcoat, testing out different combinations. $10 each.
- The wooden molds, I traded $400 worth of modeling work for him to machine it all; I just sent him the files.
- Other supplies include some bondo, wax, sanding sealer were about $10 each.
- Blanchard grinding the one sword was about $25. I like the finish, and it makes it level to within 0.010". The hand-ground sword was sand-blasted first before hit by me with a grinder for 60 seconds, because I wanted to see what resulted which was about $10.
- My brother ground the edges in 30 minutes, I paid him in computer tech support, which is worth like a million dollars.
- And I spent way too much time developing, designing, and troubleshooting, and obsessing about mistakes, and learning. I'd be surprised if it wasn't hundreds of hours.
If I wanted to budget to sell them, and could take care of some other start up costs:
- $15 - material
- $25 - Blanchard Grind
- $20 - Triforce engraving
- $30 - Grind Edges
- $50 - Hilt and pommel, including casting time, glue, bondo
- $30 - sanding, finishing and paint on hilt
- $20 - Pipe, leather, gold leaf, epoxy, clear coat to prevent rusting
- ~$80 - labor, offset startup costs, and.. profit?
So, ~$250-300 per sword. I don't think that's bad. I'd want to get the quality right, because I don't think I could handle returns at all, nor would I want to feel the wrath of the internets.